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The Collegian

The Collegian

New department strives to maximize student success

The Center for Learning and Academic Services helps students strive for success. Photo: Tatiana Bento

The Center for Learning and Academic Services is a new multifaceted department that exists to help students succeed academically at Bob Jones University and in their future careers.

The Center for Learning and Academic Services encompasses three existing departments: Mack Library, First-year Experience and  the Academic Resource Center, in addition to the new Center for Advising and Career Services, which is a combination of Transition Advising and Career Services. The reorganization of these departments and their placement under one department name is an effort to make things more convenient for the students, said Miss Jane Smith, the director of the Center for Advising and Career Services.

Each of the four components of the center now has a more specific function so the services they offer won’t overlap as they have in the past. Mr. Van Carpenter, the senior director of the Center for Learning and Academic Services, said bringing the four components under one department aligns their services to work together toward the same goal.

Carpenter said the mission of the center is to enhance the student experience. His goal is to integrate the services it offers into the BJU academic experience and for it to be natural for students to use and benefit from the services offered.

Carpenter said he wants the center to offer long-term aid for students. He envisions a student coming into the center as a freshman to learn about different majors, as a sophomore to ask about potential internships, as a junior to learn about potential careers and as a senior to receive support while job searching.

“Advising is important from your first year all the way through your senior year,” Smith said. Students will still have personal academic advisers for their majors, but additional advisers will be available for students through the center.

Carpenter views students as customers paying for a product and strives to meet or exceed their educational expectations by offering various services through the center. Carpenter said that success for him is students staying at Bob Jones University because they are happy with the product that they are receiving, and new students coming to BJU because they see the value of coming to the University based on what they are seeing and hearing from graduates and current students.

The center will continue to host workshops, career fairs, events and other opportunities to network and find internships and jobs, but exciting additions are also coming. New services will be offered starting this summer and even more this fall. Some of these changes include putting more resources online and having services that are mobile accessible, but still user-friendly.

Carpenter compares the services the center offers right now to that of a Ford Focus. “What we want to do is more like a Ford Mustang,” Carpenter said.

The center also has some fun social activities planned for this semester. Because the therapy dogs from Paws2Care were such a big hit last semester, the center plans to bring them back during midterms and finals. In addition, laser tag in the library and a board game night are possibilities.

For more information about the Center for Learning and Academic Services and the variety of services that it offers, students can visit the Academic Resource Center on the second floor of the Alumni Building.

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New department strives to maximize student success